Report: Medtronic CEO to stay on until successor found

Bill Hawkins is apparently staying on board as Medtronic's CEO until his successor is found.

"To ensure a smooth leadership transition I will continue to serve as chairman and CEO until my successor is named," Hawkins has told employees in a note, the AP is reporting.

Last December, the company announced Hawkins would retire at the end of the fiscal year, which was April 29. The company's board initiated an external search for his replacement. However, a successor has yet to be found, even though the company is making "excellent progress," Hawkins says in the note, as quoted by the AP.

The news comes less than a week after reports surfaced that Medtronic is laying off 268 of its Twin Cities, MN-area employees as part of cuts it announced in February, the Twin Cities Business Journal reported. Brian Henry, a spokesman for the company, said the layoffs were across all divisions and job functions.

The medical device giant said it is planning to cut between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs. At the time of the February announcement, the company also discussed its FY 2011 Q3 financial results. It cut its full-year earnings forecast and said it expects fiscal year 2011 diluted earnings per share in the range of $3.38 to $3.40. The company's previously stated FY 2011 diluted EPS guidance of $3.38 to $3.44 didn't include the impact from the acquisition of Ardian.